For parenting to be effective, we need to first understand and adjust our mindset. What are our fears for our children, do we love them for who they are or what they’re capable of becoming? What do we truly want as parents? Let’s look at a few things we do and how it might be affecting our impact on our children.
Some of the rules we implement as parents are so motivated by fear of unintentional consequences that its comical. For a few years now, “Technology overuse” has been ranked as their No. 1 fear in a survey of parents of teenagers. Wonder how some things never change? This year too, this fear is likely to continue.
When we fear something, it’s easy to feel defeated. But when we understand our needs, our habits and our digital manners, we can do something about them. And action is empowering.
Every single home with kids, it’s safe to assume in America, now must be having multiple smartphones. When it’s so ubiquitous, why worry about it. Why allow these gadgets to travel with us from bedrooms, bathrooms, cars, kitchens and everyplace we go into the house? Why not tether them down with some rules, instead of getting tethered to them?
Most importantly, our children cannot be our means to success. Too bad if we don’t give them lessons of living in peace and equanimity when they’re little. But we have no right to hold them to our ambitions and unfulfilled desires as they become adults. They might not choose to become a poet or live a flashy lifestyle like us – isn’t it upto them to choose how they wish to live their lives? Our duty is to only help them understand that how they do in school and college will determine the quality of their life later on.
Our success as parents is simply determined by setting expectations of their autonomy as they enter a certain age in life. And to equip them with the courage to be true to their personal values. Other than that, we don’t owe them anything, they don’t owe us anything.
One thing we can do to lead them as a parent every day is by asking them in the morning, “What do you hope to aim for today? What new things do you plan to learn and try today?”
The final lesson is to tell ourselves:
“I know there are things I can’t control. So, I will try to do my best to teach them what’s absolutely necessary to survive. If they’re hungry, they should know how to fix a quick meal. If they’ve an upcoming trip, they should know how to do laundry and pack their bags. If they have to get ahead in life, they’ll have to learn how to communicate clearly. Only then will they get what is rightfully theirs.”
Other than topics like sexual abuse, substance abuse, self-harm, suicide etc, parents should stand on the sidelines and assist children to find their way in the world. Bottom line, unless its life or death, don’t solicit advice. There are already learning from how we conduct and live our own lives.
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
The A to Z Of Life Skills
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